July 15, 2011
by John Kiljan
On Monday July 11, 2011, the Arvada City Council met to approve the redevelopment plans for the Triangle shopping district located at Independence Street and Ralston Road.  Below are the official City “Summary of Minutes” for the Triangle hearing.  They have not yet been approved by the Council and are subject to change.
For further information on this hearing go to an earlier July 12th CLRC News article at the link below.  That article also has links to articles from other sources covering Monday’s hearing.
John Kiljan, CLRC News: 303-423-9875 or
All rights reserved
* * *
An Ordinance Rezoning Certain Land Within the City of Arvada, Arvada Triangle, from PUD-BP (Planned Unit Development-Business  Professional), R-M (Residential-Multi Family), R-L (Residential-Low Density), B-2 (General Business Dist.), and C-1 (Conservation District) to PUD-BPR (Planned Unit Development-Business, Professional, Residential), and Amending the Official Zoning Maps of the City of Arvada, Colorado, approximately Ralston Rd. & Independence St.
(Ordinance No. 4276)
Arvada Triangle Outline Development Plan, approximately Ralston Rd. & Independence St.
Mayor Frie stated that he has been advised by the City Attorney that since his wife rents a plot from the Garden Club, as does his son, he must recuse himself from the public hearing. Mayor Frie left City Council chambers.
Mayor Pro Tem Dyer opened the public hearing on CB11-029 and the Arvada Triangle Outline Development Plan.
Councilmember Cook said her organization has a month to month lease with Meridian and that lease is for thirteen parking spots. She said as long as she discloses it and there is no benefit to her from a decision on this item, she can participate, based on advice from the City Attorney.
Councilmember Allard said he has received several communications but has had no discussions with anyone.
Councilmember Zenzinger said she has had many members of the community contact her and she feels she can be partial in this manner.
Councilmember McGoff said he has received a few contacts concerning this rezoning and outline development plan and those citizens have voiced opposition to or have been in favor of the proposal. He said he is not committed in any way and can keep an open mind.
Councilmember Williams said he too has been contacted and in fact did respond back and encouraged people to come tonight.
Councilmember Williams moved that Mayor Frie be excused from deliberations on this issue.
The following votes were cast on the Motion:
Those voting Yes: Frie, Dyer, Allard, Cook, McGoff, Williams, Zenzinger
The Motion was approved
Councilmember Cook said she has also had many contacts and that she did respond back and encouraged people to come tonight and feels that she can render a fair decision.
Mayor Pro Tem Dyer explained Rule 2.B. of City Council’s Rules of Procedure regarding the 11:00 p.m. time when no new items can be discussed. He said after 11:00 p.m., City Council must adjourn the meeting by 11:30 p.m. Mr. Dyer also explained that there is a rule that limits each side of the issue to one hour and said spokespersons may want to be elected to speak to the issues.
Mike Elms, Director of Community Development, stated that the posting logs and mailing affidavit have been received and are in order. Mayor Pro Tem Dyer made them a part of the official record. Mr. Elms said Planning Commission voted 7-0 in favor of this request but did place an additional condition on their approval that a community garden be placed somewhere within the outline development plan.
Ms. Maureen Phair, Executive Director of the Arvada Urban Renewal Authority (AURA), gave a brief history of the Triangle Area. She discussed how AURA became involved in the project and talked about the Triangle Committee group that was started for the purpose of getting the community involved in what they wanted to develop. Ms. Phair talked about the different meetings held with the public, the Triangle Committee group and the City. She said the garden is located on two acres of land and gave an update on the garden.
Mayor Pro Tem Dyer swore those in wishing to speak.
Mr. Richard VonLuhrte, RNL, was present and talked about the design guidelines that were developed for this area and for future development. He said the land use plan is not building specific and he talked about single story retail; multi-story residential, multi-story mixed use and said the proposed plan would allow zoning to allow these mixed uses within the project.
Mr. Pat Dawe, RNL, talked about the different concept plans. He said Plan 1 addresses street edge development; Plan 2 focuses on the north/south orientation and incorporates elderly housing; Plan 3 focuses on the single format store; and Plan 4 represents the community’s vision to represent the values retained in the plan, such as residential density close to the park. He also reviewed the public open space areas and urban agriculture.
Those speaking in favor of the development:
Page Bolin, Arvada
T.O. Owens, Arvada
Fred Jacobsen, Arvada
Lorraine Anderson, Arvada
Frank Barone, Arvada
Mike VanderKolk, Arvada
Eddie Lyons, Arvada
Those speaking opposed to moving the Community Garden:
Bill Orchard, Arvada
Beth Holderness, Arvada
George Wilbur, Arvada
Debbie Gordon, Arvada, who asked that all of the gardeners in the audience to stand.
Mayor Pro Tem Dyer stated that at least 30 gardeners were present.
A resident of Arvada
Christine Duncan, Arvada
Gerri Ramirez, Arvada
George Pramenko, Arvada
Ms. Bradley, Arvada
Arvada student, 14 years old
Fred Hatcher, Arvada
Emma Donnely, Arvada
Arrabella Riverez, Arvada
Keith Sorci, President of the Arvada Gardeners, Arvada
Arnie Points, Arvada
A resident of Arvada
Cheryl Donnely, Arvada
Tom Langley, Arvada, said he is mostly in favor of the plan.
Alan Best, Arvada, asked for a better definition of “better” for the community gardens.
John Kiljan, Arvada, addressed the alignment of Garrison Street
Those wishing their names entered into the record in favor but not wishing to speak:
LaDonna Holmes
Those wishing their names entered into the record in opposition but not wishing to speak:
Karen Brainard
Sandra Weaver
Those wishing their names entered into the record, but not wishing to speak, as being in favor of a portion of the development:
Bud Gardner
G.I. Geslin
Elaine Gardner
Mayor Pro Tem Dyer closed the public comment portion of the public hearing.
City Council took a ten minute recess.
Mayor Pro Tem Dyer reopened the public hearing for rebuttal from the applicant.
Maureen Phair provided rebuttal.
Mayor Pro Tem Dyer closed the public hearing.
Councilmember Williams referred to a comment made by a citizen that there were minutes from 1974 talking about a license agreement. Mr. Daly said he and other staff members are not aware of that agreement. He said in general a license agreement allows a particular use for a period of time, but it is not a deed that conveys property to another party.
Mr. Williams said he has heard reference that the gardeners need two acres and asked what the actual acreage is of the garden club. Mr. Elms said they are using about an acre, but they may have a fenced area larger than that.
Mr. Williams asked if we have prior experience which shows that redevelopment actually increases property values in the surrounding area. Mr. Elms said around Arvada and the Metro area it has been shown that it can have a positive impact. He said there have been plenty of case studies done through the Urban Land Institute and other organizations that revitalizing an area does increase values.
Mr. Williams said there has been a lot of discussion that there is not a need for 900 residences. He asked what will determine if they need to be built. Ms. Phair said the market will determine and a developer is not going to build unless there is a market need.
Councilmember McGoff said one thing we heard this evening was flexibility and one dealt with the alignment of Garrison Street and language was suggested that it would be nice if the City is amenable to the realignment of Garrison and any plans submitted by a developer. Ms. Phair said we can definitely consider that, especially since this is a concept plan. She said the City’s traffic department really encourages the grid system because Arvada already suffers because so many streets don’t go through. She said they would definitely be amenable to other considerations.
Councilmember McGoff said the comment was made to not break the garden into several parcels. Ms. Phair said the bigger picture is that the City is looking to create more community gardens throughout the City. She said as far as this garden, we have not spoken about breaking it up. She said the City has been talking to the gardeners that if a development does come in, we have asked them what they need and we would work with them and would not break it up.
Councilmember McGoff asked if she has been working with the gardeners if they should have to be [relocated]. Ms. Phair said the City Manager’s office has been working with them on that very issue.
Councilmember Cook said one comment Ms. Phair said regarding an individual proposal at the garden site, if the developer came in and the use shown on the ODP is residential, but it is rezoned as BPR, would it come back to City Council. Mr. Elms said yes. Ms. Cook asked if we would see a development for the entire parcel or just for this piece. Mr. Elms said you could, but you more likely will see it develop in phases. He said some of that will depend on negotiations between AURA and the developer. Ms. Cook said if someone comes through for that parcel alone, would that piece alone come through as a PDP for residential. Mr. Elms said it would have to come before City Council.
Councilmember Cook said someone in the Planning Commission’s staff report listed activities the Garden Club is involved in and asked what those were. Mr. Sorci reported on the various events, including helping to redesign and help on another garden and the Harvest Festival. Mr. Bill Orchard said they helped out with the Gold Strike Festival, they had a group that took care of the hospice at Lutheran for the flowers in the courtyard, brought the vegetable contest back to the Harvest Festival, they hold an open house in August, help out at the Farmer’s Market, donate food to the Arvada Food Bank and act as a safe place for kids to do community service spending a day in the garden, and that they used to help with the Light Up Olde Town event. Mr. Orchard said the kids from the daycare across the street also visit once a week and they give pumpkins out
to the kids in the fall.
Councilmember Zenzinger clarified a few comments made. She said she heard this ODP did nothing for the business. She pointed out that it actually increases the retail square footage considerably. She said there is currently no office space in this area and this proposes 244,000 square feet of office space which translates into jobs.
Councilmember Zenzinger said she heard several people say that the City took out the pool. She said the pool never belonged to the City. It belonged to the North Jeffco Park & Recreation District. She said there were some proposals or discussions about trying to bring a recreation center into the plan and she would like to hear more about that.
Councilmember Zenzinger said she heard that existing businesses in Olde Town said they were upset over this development and pointed out that they are in Olde Town because of an urban renewal district.
Ms. Zenzinger asked why it is so important to have residential in this development. She also said she heard that if the garden is kept in the ODP, she would like to know where it might be relocated. Ms. Cook said she would also like to know about the timing.
Mr. VonLuhrte said this is a very large site and encompasses a much bigger area than retail could sustain. He said what they have found in the development community is that mixed-use offers almost a guarantee that the development will be successful. He said it is very important that as a community you allow the developer the flexibility to mix the uses. He said he is not aware of any requirement or discussion of a recreation center within the area. Ms. Phair said there have been some conversations with Apex and that they do have a long term capital plan as to when a recreation center may go in this area. She said they even spoke about it being right across Garrison from the park.
Ms. Phair said in regards to incorporating a garden within the ODP, she said she was speaking about a community garden in general and not this particular one. Ms. Zenzinger clarified that the existing garden could not be relocated within the plan, but some form of a garden could be integrated throughout the plan and Ms. Phair said yes.
Councilmember Allard said the Planning Commission put a condition on their approval that a community garden be incorporated into the plan. Ms. Cook said the obligation of the City to move the garden is separate from the issue of putting a community garden within the ODP. Ms. Phair said either the community garden exists within its entirety or they get relocated, in their entirety, to a different location. She said they would still like to see community gardens in the ODP but not this particular community garden.
Mr. VonLuhrte said in the Guidelines, it says “maintain the community garden in place or replace it with community gardens in the plan”. He said it could be replaced in total, or in a series of gardens located throughout the plan. He said there are different scenarios: 1) A developer comes along, which would be completely open to negotiation, and comes forward with a proposal on how the community garden would be retained. He said that keeps the flexibility and it would be a big mistake to pick a location at this time because part of the issue is to keep flexibility on a plan coming forward. 2) The developer says he has a plot of land ideal for a garden and he would donate it for that purpose and it is not on this site at all. He said we would still like to see gardens located in the district but would be in addition to the current community garden.
Councilmember Williams said it is his understanding that an analysis was done a while back for other locations of a sizeable community garden, such as the Moore Farm. Mr. Elms said we are in ownership of the property. He said the Parks Department was involved in that analysis and meeting with the community garden group but he doesn’t know if they were interested in that option. Mayor Pro Tem Dyer said we are getting some really good parcels across Alkire from the Village of Five Parks that will make great community gardens. He said it is his understanding that the Moore Farm could be used as a working farm but not as a community garden. Mr. Dyer said he is concerned that if this garden cannot exist within the development area, then it may not exist at all. He said he also likes the suggestion of a realignment of Garrison Street.
Mr. Elms said there is enough flexibility in the plan to allow for the road to follow a different realignment.
Councilmember Zenzinger referred to the Design Guidelines that state the garden should remain in its current location or within the development or in close proximity. Ms. Phair reviewed each of the statements referred to. She said it could be relocated within the Triangle but not in its current configuration. She said it can be broken up and scattered around within. She said it could also be relocated within the vicinity area.
Bill Ray said one of the dialogues we are still having with the garden club is what they would look for in success criteria. He said it is difficult for us to pinpoint what an alternative might be. He said we understand they have to have water, they need it to be accessible and have parking. He said there are other criteria they will have but at this point, until we continue the discussion, it is difficult to know.
Councilmember Allard said if the outline development plans gets approved, and the Planning Commission stated that the garden had to be included, then it needs to be on the Plan. Mr. Elms said Council is also approving the Design Guidelines. He said the condition is, at the time you do your design and when you bring in your development plan, a community garden must be included in that plan. Ben Thurston, Community Development, said some members of Council are trying to use a very general outline development plan to solve a problem and it is not that type of tool.
He said such a specific use, such as a community garden, is not going to be shown on an outline development plan. He said that is what a preliminary development plan is for.
Councilmember Cook moved that CB11-029, An Ordinance Rezoning Certain Land Within the City of Arvada, Arvada Triangle, from PUD-BP (Planned Unit Development-Business Professional), R-M (Residential-Multi Family), R-L (Residential-Low Density), B-2 (General Business Dist.), and C-1 (Conservation District) to PUD-BPR (Planned Unit Development-Business, Professional, Residential), and Amending the Official Zoning Maps of the City of Arvada, Colorado, approximately Ralston Rd. & Independence St., be approved on final reading, numbered 4276 and ordered published by title only or in full if staff feels is necessary. This motion is based on the findings of fact adopted by the Planning Commission.
Councilmember Cook said she would also move to amend her motion to include a statement to exclude the community garden, the two acres, or as defined by the staff, from the zoning request and the ODP and that the density be transferred to the remaining 75 acres.
Mr. Elms said just the garden should be excluded and we would need to get a legal description for just the garden.
Councilmembers spoke to the motion.
Councilmember Williams said he is open to language that tightens it up that the City will provide one acre somewhere, whether it is within the development or outside of the development. He said he is not willing to take the flexibility out of the plan that may hurt a development someday that would be better suited for that parcel.
Councilmember Zenzinger asked if the garden is not included in the plan, could a future City Council then add it back into the plan if the right development came along. Mr. Elms said yes a future City Council could and may just do a development plan for that one parcel.
The following votes were cast on the Motion to Amend to exclude the community garden from the Rezoning and Outline Development Plan:
Those voting Yes: Dyer, Cook, Zenzinger
Those voting No: Allard, McGoff, Williams
The Motion Failed.
Mayor Pro Tem Dyer called for a vote on the Main Motion:
The following votes were cast on the Motion:
Those voting Yes: Frie, Dyer, Allard, Cook, McGoff, Williams, Zenzinger
The Motion was approved
Councilmember Williams moved that the Arvada Triangle Outline Development Plan, at approximately Ralston Rd. & Independence St., be approved subject to the attached updated condition of approval. Mr. Williams said he would also add a condition that Garrison Street does not have to be a straight through street and we will be flexible in the alignment; and, second as it pertains to the community garden, that the intention is the community garden remain where it is but if there is a development plan that would desire the relocation of the community garden, it can only occur in the event a one acre or lager parcel is procured within the ODP or within a quarter mile thereof. This motion is based on the findings of fact adopted by the Planning Commission.
The following votes were cast on the Motion:
Those voting Yes: Frie, Dyer, Allard, Cook, McGoff, Williams, Zenzinger
The Motion was approved
[The Council adjourned at 11:06 PM.]
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  1. John Kiljan says:

    UPDATE: The meeting minutes have since been revised to show Mayor Frie as not voting with the Council on the unanimous votes that took place after he had recused himself and left the chambers. –JK

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